The Poker Lab Rat

October 12, 2007

A couple of quick ones with Poker Pro Daniel Negreanu

Filed under: Daniel Negreanu,Poker News & Views,pro tips — Mike @ 1:08 am

What do you consider the greatest bluff you ever pulled off?

That one’s easy. A hand against Freddy Deeb in 2004.

In heads-up play, I put a bluff raise on Freddy that was sophisticated in that I didn’t go all-in. I made it look like I really wanted him to call. I limped in with Ah-7d, the blinds were 800/1600, he raised 7000 more, and I called. The flop was Ks-6h-2h. He bet about 16000, and I called with the intention of taking the pot from him on the turn. The turn came, the 4s. He checked, so I went ahead and bet 30000, trying to pick up the pot. He called. Now the river came, the 4h. It paired the board and put a flush out there, and I had the ace of hearts, but not the flush. He bet 65000, so most people would fold, just throw the hand away. But instead, I knew he couldn’t have the nut flush, and I knew he didn’t have full house, so I decided to represent one of those hands and I raised him just 100,000 more.

So he looked at it and he’s like, “You must have flopped a set”, and he threw the hand away. And, of course, I show the bluff…

Who’s the player you just can’t get a read on?

John Hennigan. He switches gears so quickly. Once you think you have a read on him, that’s when he flips it on you and he just switches gears. When he’s playing his best, he’s arguably the best player I’ve ever played. He plays at another level – above the rim. Him, Ted Forrest and Phil Ivy all have similar qualities in that they think about poker in a very unique way.

Is Phil Hellmuth really as good as he thinks he is?

Oh, not even close. Nobody could ever be as good as he thinks he is. Doyle Brunson once said “I wish I was as good as he thought he was”. His evaluation of his own play is way off base. He walks into the cash games and the side games, and literally, the top players, we all lick our lips. Yum, yum, here comes a sucker.

I think when he plays his best, he plays pretty good, but the young kids today are studying and learning so much, and he’s not. He’s just not focused.
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